The Flame in the Flood is a rogue survival game published in 2016 by The Molasses Flood.
Earth had suffered no more than a few calamities, but it was enough to change the very lives of everyone. Sinkholes and hurricanes tore the continental United States apart, with powerful earthquakes tearing the lands apart, turning them into islands separated by floodwaters. Most perished. Some escaped to who-knows where. Those that remain struggle to survive.
So, when you start the game for the first time with nobody around but a girl named Scout and some old bunkhouses with the word "S.O.S" painted on their roofs, it can seem a bit depressing. Never fear, though, since just afterwards, a dog named Aesop comes up with a bag and a radio. Can't make out the signal, though. If Scout wants to survive and perhaps find out what the radio says, she'll need to head south down the river away from the coming rains.
Okay, enough backstory. The Flame in the Flood is a roguelike survival-adventure game. Basically, there's two main aspects to the game. I'll start with the first aspect... the rafting phase.
Just raftin' along. Mm-hm.
When you leave Pinewood Camp, which is the starting location of the game, you'll hop on a raft and start floating down a river. If you're playing on a computer, you can use the WASD keys on your keyboard to steer the raft, or if you're using a game console (or a computer with a controller), you can use the left-side analog stick to steer.
Your raft has two aspects to it. Stamina and Integrity. You can occasionally paddle harder to make the raft go faster or to avoid obstacles, but this will use some Stamina. You can't boost without it!
Integrity holds the raft together. Hitting other things on the river will damage the raft and lower it's Integrity. Crash too much and you'll take a swim and drown. The floodwaters aren't exactly warm, so try not to fall in the drink.
As you boat through the waters, you can dock at islands to search for supplies. This leads us to the Scavenge phase.
Where's God when ya need 'em?
Once you get off your raft, you can start walking around and looking for supplies. You can pick wild dandelions, maybe some berries to munch on, or grab some saplings from the ground. You can look through boxes and old cars to find hidden remainders of what once was, and loot the old shops.
Scout in particular has four needs. Nutrition, Hydration, Temperature, and Energy. If she starves, she's dead. If she's dehydrated, she's dead. Hypothermia? Dead. Exhaustion? Leaves you wide open to the elements and animals who want to make you their snack. Probably dead.
So, let's start with the easy stuff. How do you warm up and get rested? Easy. For warmth, you can craft warm clothes using animal pelts, which I'll explain in a moment. Alternatively, though, for both warming up and resting, you can just sleep in a building or by a campfire. Kill two birds with one stone. Buildings are safer most of the time, as animals can't get to you easily, but most animals are also afraid of fire, so you'll probably be fine either way.
As for getting water, you can either fill a Jar with water from the rain, or you can scoop it up from the river and filter it with a craftable Water Filter. But getting food... you'll need to hunt. Sure, you can find wild food like mulberries, corn, garlic, and other "ground foods" easily, but the best stuff is meat. You can hunt Rabbits with Snares or Box Traps (snares kill, box traps livetrap), while Boars and Wolves need to be killed with a Spear Trap, or a fired Arrow from a Bow. You can cook the meat over a Campfire.
However, Boars and Wolves aren't exactly pushovers. While Rabbits might just flee, predators will fight back. Boars charge at their enemies to break their bones, while Wolves will pounce and scratch at their target, lacerating them. Broken bones and other such ailments aren't exactly fun, and if they aren't treated, they might even kill you.
Speaking of ailments, physical harm isn't the only immediate danger. You can also get sick. Eating uncooked and/or spoiled food, drinking unfiltered water, or letting an injury fester can give you nasty stuff like blood flukes, dysentery, etc... or worst of all, the lethal Sepsis. First you feel sick to your stomach. Then your vision gets hazy. Then you see nothing at all and perish.
A bit bleak, perhaps, but it's common.
Not everything's bad, though. You can sometimes find other people still alive.
Often times, for almost no trouble at all, they'll give you a useful item or supplies. Some of them may prefer to trade, but the deals may often be stacked in their favor.
Of course, this game does have some critical flaws. For one, the PC version is prone to frequent crashing, excessive resource consumption, and lag, while the console versions often have inconsistent FPS. The enemy AI is awkward, and the way that the raft is damaged from hitting things sometimes doesn't even make sense. Sure, if I hit a rock at 30 MPH, I'll fall off, but if I hit a flat cliff while barely moving, I'll be fine!
Regardless, in conclusion, I think this game is definitely worth a try, even if you only complete it once, as it has a nice Campaign mode that is quite rewarding when finished, although I won't spoil it...